On 28 October 2021, the University of Pretoria hosted its 21st annual Academic Achievers’ Awards ceremony to celebrate its top-performing researchers. This is the second consecutive year that the ceremony was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria, Prof Tawana Kupe, acknowledged the Faculty of Health Sciences as one of the first in the higher education sector to open a vaccination site at the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Prinshof Campus, thus servicing students and staff to get vaccinated.
The Faculty has been at the forefront of encouraging South African citizens to get vaccinated in various ways. “The Faculty of Health Sciences is also using creative ways to communicate to various target audiences about the urgent need to get vaccinated, through the production of a science rap music video and a recording of a choir performance,” shared Prof Kupe.
Academics from the Faculty received awards in various categories. They were acknowledged for being included on the National Research Foundation (NRF)-rated scholars and for their impactful contributions to research over the past year.
Prof Mike Sathekge, Professor & Head of Nuclear Medicine Department at the University of Pretoria & Steve Biko Academic Hospital, was awarded the Exceptional Academic Achievers Award, which is awarded to senior academics who have already achieved the status of professor, are regarded highly by their peers, and have consistently excelled in the areas of under- and postgraduate teaching and learning, research, community service and administration over a period of time.
The Community Engagement Award was awarded to Prof Jannie Hugo, Director of UP’s Community Oriented Primary Care Research Unit for contributing to various community projects as a long-standing and valued tradition in higher education and an extensive, high-impact practice in teaching at the University of Pretoria.
Director for the Centre for Viral Zoonoses and Research Chair at Future Africa: People, Health and Place, Prof Wanda Markotter was one of three recipients of the Conversation Africa’s Science Communication Award for the performance of articles that she authored which communicate research outputs with fellow academics across the globe as well as with civil society on The Conversation Africa’s website.
The Faculty congratulates all awards recipients, including the B-rated and C-rated researchers who were acknowledged. Prof Lyn-Marie Birkholtz (UP ISMC affiliated but based in NAS), Prof Llewellyn Padayachy, Prof Riana Bornman and Prof Tahir Pillay were awarded for their rating as B-rated Researchers and Prof Ute Feucht, Prof Vanessa Steenkamp and Prof Janine Wichmann for their NRF C-Rating.